BEIRUT, Lebanon, Nov. 27 (UPI) — Saudi newspapers reported Sunday that King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz mediated between Syria and the U.N. which ended a deadlock between the two sides. The London-based ash-Sharq al-Awsat and al-Hayat dailies quoted Saudi King Abdullah as saying he proposed to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and French President Jacques Chirac that Syrian officials sought for questioning by a U.N.-appointed investigation commission be questioned at the U.N. headquarters in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

Damascus said Friday it agreed to allow five of its officials to be questioned by the U.N. commission probing the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in Vienna after it refused to allow them to be questioned at the commission’s headquarters in Beirut. The Saudi monarch said he dispatched his envoy, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, to Paris to discuss the proposal with Chirac and Annan, who was visiting France at the time, as well as to Damascus to meet with President Bashar Assad, to reach an agreement on the venue for questioning the five Syrian officials.

King Abdullah said that after securing Syria’s approval for Vienna as the venue, Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal informed the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, whose governments responded in agreement.

"Thus, the Saudi mediation succeeded in securing a compromise agreement that maintains the dignity of the Syrian leadership and people and meets the demands of the Security Council," the king added.

The Security Council last month issued a resolution demanding that Syria fully cooperate with the U.N. probe into Hariri’s assassination, who was killed in a massive explosion in Beirut in February.